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[1.8.x] DMagic Orbital Science: New Science Parts [v1.4.3] [11/2/2019]


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New RPWS looks good!

Some ideas...

1) Custom probe\rover body. AIES has nice probe cores, but stock RoveMate... well, let's just say it's definitely NOT a match for your parts.

2) We know now that ARM update will add asteroid science - Kerbals can go EVA and take samples. How about KAS version for drill and laser? (Of course, if it will be possible at all to run any custom experiment on asteroid.)

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New RPWS looks good!

Some ideas...

1) Custom probe\rover body. AIES has nice probe cores, but stock RoveMate... well, let's just say it's definitely NOT a match for your parts.

2) We know now that ARM update will add asteroid science - Kerbals can go EVA and take samples. How about KAS version for drill and laser? (Of course, if it will be possible at all to run any custom experiment on asteroid.)

That's an interesting idea. There was a WIP thread about making new rover bodies, but I haven't seen anything about that in quite a while. I made sure that my parts could fit on a RoveMate, but they usually have to put sideways or in some other slightly awkward way, that's why most of my examples use that bigger rover. But it might be interesting to come up with something in between.

I'll need to look into how exactly the asteroid science works, from the Q&A it sounds like they'll be another experimental situation that can be done around any planet. But the existing laser and drill are probably a bit big to actually be used on EVA. I'll try to fix the laser animation so that it works better on small landers, like the drill does, before the next update though. That should at least make the laser work better for asteroid science.

Thanks for your continued work DMagic. In case you don't know GavinZac has added this mod to his KAS grabable cfg.

Awesome, it does make sense that these parts could be moved around by EVA Kerbals.

I've replaced the telescope texture and made some improvements to the existing model. Mostly I improved the way the shroud blends in with the main body of the telescope and reduced the number of leaves in the shutter; all of this helped drop the triangle count by about 25%. I also made it smaller and lighter as shown in the pictures below, this could still use some tweaking though.

I also found an interesting Kerbal model that should be useful as a reference for my EVA scanner.

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Edited by DMagic
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But the existing laser and drill are probably a bit big to actually be used on EVA.

For EVA drill and EVA laser inspiration, look at this and this. They actually can be made into one instrument - a "Kerbal-portable Penetrator 9000XXL":

- it's heavy (0.5 t at least)

- do science and take data through right-click menu (there should be a warning when you try to put it back into container - "Take your Science or lose it!"

- can be used on planets (you can just pack the thing into KAS container, then, when you're arrived and all set, grab it and do science)

- jetpack must be activated before using it (you don't need to make a dedicated handles for it)

- it consumes your EVA propellant during operation (2 units for each try - so park your ship close)

- two different animations for surface\space operation - like current drill modes: surface - drill\lase downwards, space - drill\lase forward

That, of course, if all those things could be done at all.

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Is that the same texture as the anomaly sensor? Or am I misremembering? It looks similar to something else. Also, why the decision to change it? Didn't you like the previous one?

Edit: Referring to the new RPWS model/texture.

Edited by mdapol
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For EVA drill and EVA laser inspiration, look at this and this. They actually can be made into one instrument - a "Kerbal-portable Penetrator 9000XXL":

So many possibilities.

I had the same thought about forcing RCS mode (now I just need to get my hands on a Kerbal model in that mode). Not only does it allow you to use the jetpacks handles, but it fixes the Kerbal, reducing the range of movement possible which should make designing something that stays in place easier. I like the idea about resource usage too, I've been thinking of that for some of my other parts too. The laser especially should have a burst of electricity required for use. That's something that I'm trying to build into my new science module.

Is that the same texture as the anomaly sensor? Or am I misremembering? It looks similar to something else. Also, why the decision to change it? Didn't you like the previous one?

Edit: Referring to the new RPWS model/texture.

It does look a bit like the anomaly scanner, at least from the front. But of course, once you deploy it there's not much possibility of confusing the two.

I suppose the exterior texture, the non-door part at least, of the previous version is ok. Like all of my second draft textures it's a bit flat, but not too bad. I really don't like the interior section though, it's clunky and I don't think it meshes well with the rest of the model, or any of the other parts for that matter. The door mechanism isn't so great either, and I think it interferes with the probe that comes out of the side (that was added long after the rest of the model was complete). There are also some issues with different components of the part not aligning correctly during the animation, though that's not so easily noticeable in-game. Overall I think the RPWS was the part that clashed the most with my other parts, so I decided to remake it from scratch.

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Those are just previews, and they aren't complete either, both need at least a few changes. The only thing changed from 0.7 to 0.7.1 was the SCANsat versions of the parts. The next update won't be until the NASA pack / 23.1 / 24 / whatever they decide to give us next.

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I want to try this. But one concern. And sorry if its been covered. As is.. stock science is easy to get. Almost too easy. So would these parts not make it even easier to gather science?

If it becomes a problem you can always use a custom science config and increase the amounts of science per node. If you use any of the custom tech trees (like KSPI for me) then this mod is extremely helpful.

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Dmagic, coudl you maybe include science reports for Planetfactory planets? Thud, ablate, etc.

Adding reports is no problem, they don't have biomes and only two (?) have atmospheres, so there's not too much to add. The bigger issue is whether they have their ScienceParams values set. These are the things like the multiplier, the "in space near/high" threshold, etc... I'm guessing that these are things that have to be added manually. If no one knows for sure I can fly out there and check with a function to print out those values in the debug window.

It might not be too difficult to whip up a plugin that sets these values, I'll have to see.

I want to try this. But one concern. And sorry if its been covered. As is.. stock science is easy to get. Almost too easy. So would these parts not make it even easier to gather science?

Yeah, these parts don't do much to help balance the system. I'm not too worried about it now because there's little incentive not to just bold on a dozen of each experiment and max out the tech tree in a few flights. Once we get some more depth in career mode I'll start thinking about balance more.

Edit: I checked a handful of the planetfactory planets and they all seem to have their science values in order, some of them even have biomes. Coming up with new reports for all five applicable parts should be no problem.

Edited by DMagic
Checked Krag's Planetfactory
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Absolutely loving the magnetometer, laser spectrometer and the drill, although smaller models would be nice and the drill is kinda hard to set right. Would be nice if the drill could break if you're moving when it's deployed. Also, humble request: atmospheric science package for rovers: blocky, edgy, surface-attachable deployable thing in the smallest scale. The nosecone looks out of place on a rover.

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Absolutely loving the magnetometer, laser spectrometer and the drill, although smaller models would be nice and the drill is kinda hard to set right. Would be nice if the drill could break if you're moving when it's deployed. Also, humble request: atmospheric science package for rovers: blocky, edgy, surface-attachable deployable thing in the smallest scale. The nosecone looks out of place on a rover.

Thanks. I also noticed that these parts vary in size quite a bit. I was sticking all six parts onto a command pod to test something when I realized just how much bigger some of the rover parts are; it's not as obvious when they aren't right next to each other. I'll see about resizing some of them a bit so that they are a little more similar.

I'm also not too crazy about the animation detection function I'm using. It works well enough in what I consider standard situations, stuck on top of a rover body or on the side of a fuel tank, but when you start attaching it to structural components it's not so easy to setup right. I want to get something that is relative to the surface, not to the part's position on the vessel. I'm not sure about making the part break when you move, but I am also planning on adding some form of ground detection to the laser and drill when they are deployed.

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Adding reports is no problem, they don't have biomes and only two (?) have atmospheres, so there's not too much to add. The bigger issue is whether they have their ScienceParams values set. These are the things like the multiplier, the "in space near/high" threshold, etc... I'm guessing that these are things that have to be added manually. If no one knows for sure I can fly out there and check with a function to print out those values in the debug window.

The one sad thing about PlanetFactory is that it breaks Science Archives. I don't know why this happens (and fixing that doesn't seem to be high on Krag's priorities list), but if it's because of unset ScienceParams - if you can make such fix, that would be great!

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The one sad thing about PlanetFactory is that it breaks Science Archives. I don't know why this happens (and fixing that doesn't seem to be high on Krag's priorities list), but if it's because of unset ScienceParams - if you can make such fix, that would be great!

I didn't check that, I'll see what I can find out.

In the mean time, what do we have here?

Iq8GBKs.jpg

It's going to take some work to get that returning values the way I want it to, but it's a start.

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Is there a quick way to make the ExoCore drill also function on non atmospheric bodies?

No, not really. The planets that it works on are hard-coded into the .dll. It wouldn't be much trouble to change that, but I wouldn't call it quick or simple.

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The one sad thing about PlanetFactory is that it breaks Science Archives. I don't know why this happens (and fixing that doesn't seem to be high on Krag's priorities list), but if it's because of unset ScienceParams - if you can make such fix, that would be great!

I checked the archives with PlanetFactory, I see what you mean now. It doesn't look like something that can be easily fixed, at least not from our end. But science reports should still work properly, you just can't review them in the archives.

In the meantime I've been tweaking my magnetic field model to get it to show some semi-plausible results for Kerbin's magnetosphere. The model I'm using is the World Magnetic Model, which is used to simulate the Earth's magnetic field near the surface for calibrating compasses, and navigation. It isn't meant to give accurate readings of the magnetosphere (it treats the Earth like a dipole magnetic, basically a giant bar magnet), but I think it can still be useful. It provides a lot of non-random variation and it's relatively simple to tweak the input values so that I can produce a rough approximation of how the real magnetosphere behaves. Actual magnetosphere simulations exist, but they are more complicated and much more computationally expensive, and, most importantly, there doesn't seem to by any version that can be so easily adapted for my needs.

The WMM software has no noticeable effect on performance, but if there are issues it can be turned off in the .cfg file (or retract the magnetometer). I can also change the code so that it runs only a few times per second instead of once every frame as it's doing now.

Primarily I'm using a stretched out, off-center torus to scale my altitude readings so that I can get a strong magnetic field stretched out far away on the night side of Kerbin and a very stubby field on the day side. Unfortunately this requires using a lot of empirically determined values, like the length of a Kerbin solar day, the point on Kerbin where the sun is directly overhead at the beginning of each solar day, and a lot of altitude variations. This means that it's not so easy to adapt this to other planets, I'll have to determine those values for each one.

I made the torus with a bunch of semi-educated modifications on the basic torus equation to produce a shape that looks like this. The front half has been removed to give you a better idea of how it looks.

elzk092.jpg

Imagine Kerbin at the origin. The magnetic field readout roughly follows the shape of that torus around Kerbin (ie the field strength drops off quickly outside of that shape) and the input values for the magnetic field model that I'm using are shifted so that the stubby end of the field always points toward the sun.

Of course it would be nice to actually do something with all of these fancy simulations, but that will come later. For now I want to get the simulation running properly around Kerbin before even moving on to other planets.

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Isnt kspi simulating magnetic fields too? Maybe just copy model from it.

A simplified explanation of what Interstellar's model looks like can be found on the wikipedia page. I suspect the basic form of the model I'm using isn't terribly different, it just has a ton of empirically determined constants that give a lot of variability to the results; both versions should give you a magnetosphere that looks something like a flattened sphere, but the WMM values won't be so evenly distributed.

As far as I can tell the Interstellar model doesn't go beyond the dipole model (except for lots of scaling for different planets). Accounting for the effects of the solar wind adds a bit of complexity, but it gives a result that resembles a real magnetosphere, at least a little bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everything's looking good here. I don't think they changed anything with the science system (asteroids appear to be limited to surface samples collected by right-clicking on the asteroid itself) and all of my parts seem to be working ok.

I'll do some more testing and update later today.

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Will you add single science report for each part, or some varied, for various types of asteroids.

As far as i know asteroids only vary by size, but there also shoudl be some materials variability.. well thats only suggestion.

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Will you add single science report for each part, or some varied, for various types of asteroids.

As far as i know asteroids only vary by size, but there also shoudl be some materials variability.. well thats only suggestion.

Asteroid science doesn't work like that. There is only a single experiment available for them, EVA surface samples (these aren't the same as regular surface samples). It's probably possible to get some kind of asteroid specific science reports generated for other parts, but that will have to come later.

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Update to V0.7.5

Download on Spaceport

Updated for the ARM release.

A new texture and model for the RPWS is included; the telescope has a new texture and slightly different model.

There are several other small changes, mostly backend things. The magnetometer now has a magnetosphere simulation around Kerbin. I also added science reports for Krag's PlanetFactory planets and several default reports so that you should get results around any modded planets. See the change log for a full list.

Check the first post of this thread for a full preview gallery of the update.

Change Log:

v0.7.5
- Updated for KSP v0.23.5
- New RPWS model and texture
- Existing vessels should still work, but the RPWS might end up attached backwards
- New telescope texture, some adjustments made to the existing model
- Resized parts so that they are all more similar in scale
- Added resource usage to drill, laser, anomaly scanner and magnetometer
- Can be configured in the part.cfg file
- Limited magnetosphere simulation for Kerbin
- Values read-out in right-click menu, can be disabled in the part.cfg file
- Several changes to plugin code
- Exploits for drill fixed
- Lab reset for anomaly scanner should work as it does for stock parts
- Most parts moved onto universal science module
- Several default science reports added, should work on any mod planets that include ScienceParams values
- Drill should work on any planet with an atmosphere now
- Added reports for Krag's PlanetFactory planets

v0.7.1:
- Added SCANsat BTDT function to alternate version of the anomaly sensor.
- Can now be used for both custom anomaly science scanning and SCANsat scanning.
- Part has a different name and must be purchased separately in the R&D center.
- Added my own telescope module to the SCANsat version.
- Details are the same as for the anomaly sensor.
- Both parts are found in the alternate, SCANsat folder.
- No changes to the default parts.

v0.7:
- New anomalous signal scanner. Designed for rovers and spaceplanes.
- Used to detect and study anomalies.
- Single use only; return to Kerbin for complete study of the science report, or transmit and reset with science lab.
- New textures for the magnetometer and laser; they fit in better with the recent parts.
- Fixed .cfg file and plugin bugs for the laser and magnetometer
- Laser returned to its proper tech node - will require repurchase, but should not affect existing vessels.
- A few minor changes in other part.cfg files; dropped the mass of the telescope.
- New science reports for the anomaly scanner, fixed many typos in old reports.

v0.6:
- New biological activity core drill. Designed for rovers and landers.
- Features multiple storage containers.
- Can be used up to six times before needing to be returned to Kerbin or reset with a science lab.
- Two different animation modes, used for rovers or landers. Animation dependent on the drill's orientation relative to its parent part - preview animation in the VAB/SPH - use cubic octagonal struts or other small parts to modify animation behavior.
- New science reports for core drill.
- Included support for Trueborn's Custom Biomes plugin. * Requires separate download
- Reports for custom biomes for the laser, optical telescope and core drill.
- Reduced values for some science experiments.

v0.5:
- New surface scanning laser instrument. Designed for rovers and landers.
- Changes in magnetometer and telescope part names to address compatibility issues with other mods (will not be backward compatible without manually changing the names or installing the alternate part folder). Re-purchasing parts in the R&D center is required.
- New model for magnetometer, includes added details to the instruments themselves, cleaner animation, and lower RAM usage due to more efficient use of textures.
- Custom part modules for all parts to address animation and science collection issues:
- Magnetometer and RPWS animations are fully reversible while playing, animation speed for these parts is increased as well.
- Deployed previews are available in the VAB/SPH for all parts
- Attempts to collect science where not possible will trigger a message with suggestions about where to use the instrument; will not play the deploy animation if the part is in the retracted position.
- Transmitting or resetting the instrument will not trigger the retract animation.
- Repeatedly pushing the collect data button/action group will not spam multiple results.
- The laser has only a single, forward animation. Data is collected midway through the animation.
- Edited existing science reports, and added several more. Added full set of surface reports for the laser.

v0.4:
- New textures for all parts.
- Changed non-SCANsat telescope to be the default, for the SCANsat version replace the default scope folder with the alternate folder.
- Tweaks to models and animations for the magnetometer and telescope.
- Add Langmuir probe to RPWS model (should not break existing crafts).
- Added surface reports for the magnetometer, including biome support where available.
- Added biome support for non-SCANsat telescope in low orbit.
- Rearranged tech tree placement; parts moved to earlier nodes.
- Decreased science report values, added and edited science reports.
- Added FxModule to part.cfg to force deployment before science reports can be collected.

v0.3: Initial upload.

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